Serving others

April 13, 2022

About the author: Pamela Ackerman has been a part of ZPC’s congregation for approximately 17 years serving in the choir, on Great Banquet, and co-leading past youth mission trips. Her husband, David, is the Director of Choir and Vocal Performance at ZPC. Both perform together in church and secular settings as well as continue to perform a Couch Concert each week live on Facebook. This ministry, brought about on March 20, 2020, was in direct response to the pandemic shutting down the world. Its purpose is to bring hope, joy, peace, and encouragement to all who view it. 

Scripture: John 13: 1-17

Jesus knelt at his disciples’ feet. It’s a well-known image to those familiar with the Easter story. But we have to realize what this looked like then. Jesus performed a lowly act solely meant for servants, one that was confusing and shocking to his disciples. Peter voiced what the others were likely thinking, dismayed at the thought of Jesus washing his feet. “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?” The disciples revered Jesus as “Teacher” and “Lord” and yet here he was doing a menial task for them. For them. Until the end, Jesus taught his disciples. He loved them and he modeled for them what his Kingdom would look like and how he wanted them to live, even then, and for us, even now. 

Shocking. Counter cultural. Surprising. Unexpected. Servant leadership does not make sense to much of the world. Overtaking with power, overthrowing with might, those are what many expected of Jesus. But he calls us to a different set of standards, a different way of leading. The message of his actions was deafening. The message of our actions must be the same.

These last two years have been trying and difficult in so many ways but especially in how to serve others. Many ministries had to pause their services or change how they did them. All of us have needed to extend grace to ourselves and each other as we made decisions and navigated what was best for ourselves and our families. In the meantime, we became more isolated, more alone, and more in need of others than we ever have before. I have gone through the gamut of emotions regarding gathering, worshiping, and being around others for extended periods of time. Thankfully, God has brought me to a better place. Now, I am feeling his leading to see how he would have me again serve others.

As you prepare your heart for all that Jesus would endure before his coming victory on the cross, join me in praying how God may now be calling you to serve. It can be as simple as reaching out to someone he has placed on your heart. It can be a time of returning to or continuing on with a ministry whose mission you have always supported. Or this may be a time of seeking and exploration as God leads you to something new. Whatever the case, God will help you know his desires for you if you seek him. 

Prayer:

Jesus,
Thank you for showing us your ways and for having your Kingdom be one where neither the servants nor the masters are greater than each other. Thank you for having us on your heart and showing us how to live, even as you knew the atrocities about to come. Please still my heart and help me to know how you would like me to serve and love others. Thank you for wanting to use even me to make a difference for your Kingdom.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
Amen

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